The 2021 season of formula one is turning out to be a very interesting one. There are very unique opportunities across the various tracks where you shall witness the performance of teams and drivers. This is one of the questions you might be asking; is Max Verstappen better than Lewis Hamilton?
I would understand why you are asking this question.
Over the last couple of races, Max Verstappen has won with convincing margins over Lewis Hamilton.
It has been a while since you watched Hamilton and the Mercedes team struggling for pace. It does seem they are truly not able to find performance to match Red Bull.
With Verstappen leading the driver’s championship, and Red Bull ahead on Constructor’s championship, you are correct to wonder whether Max Verstappen is better than Hamilton.
Is Max Verstappen better than Hamilton?
Based on historical performance, I do not think that Max Vestappen is better than Hamilton.
Lewis Hamilton has won 7 world driver’s championship so far, while Max Verstappen has won none. That alone is a major difference, and still confirms that Hamilton is better than Verstappen.
You might argue that Red Bull has not been at the same level as Mercedes. This is true. However, at no single time can two teams or two cars be equally matched.
There will always be one that has an edge over the other. In fact, even within the same team, you might see a difference in performance between two drivers.
For example, Hamilton outperforms Bottas in the same car. Max is outperforming Perez in the same machine.
If you base your case on 2021 formula one season, then Max Verstappen is better than Hamilton by results so far.
5 Reasons Why Verstappen is better than Hamilton in 2021.
So far, Max Verstappen is doing better than Lewis Hamilton. His performance in France, Styrian Grand Prix and the Austrian Grand Prix demonstrates he is now the dominant driver on the grind.
There are some five reasons why Vestappen is better than Hamilton in the 2021 F1 season. They include;
- Red Bull have kept improving the car.
- Max is making less mistakes.
- Vestappen is very aggressive
- Mercedes are struggling with their car.
- Lewis Hamilton does not have the best car so far.
Let me explain what I mean by the above reasons.
Red Bull have kept improving the car.
There is talk in the paddock that Red Bull kept working on their car towards the end of the 2020 F1 season.
That would explain their great performance at the Abu Dhabi race where Max Vestappen won.
It is possible this has given Max a great advantage, given he seems to have a more balanced car as compared to Hamilton.
Max is making less mistakes.
Max Verstappen is also turning out to be a good driver. He has matured from the angry and tantrum-throwing driver you watched in past seasons.
This Max is also not making a lot of mistakes. He is learning to be patient, a trait that has been the hallmark of Lewis Hamilton.
Not making mistakes has allowed Max Verstappen to maximize opportunities on the track.
Vestappen is very aggressive.
You know that Max Vestappen is a very aggressive driver. He is one person who will not shy away from diving into any available opportunity on the track.
This is a track that has earned him a few admirers and haters in equal measure.
In fact, there are drivers who would not wish to be on a head-to-head competition with Max. He might end up crashing into you.
Mercedes are struggling with their car.
Over the last couple of races, especially during the 2021 F1 season, Mercedes seem to be struggling with getting their car in the right window.
It is also evident that the W12 is lacking in pace. The car cannot match the pace of the Red Bull.
This is why you might be thinking that Max better than Hamilton. However, this is a case of Red Bull having a pace advantage over Mercedes.
If Mercedes are able to find extra pace and performance in their car, you might find the remaining races in 2021 very interesting.
Lewis Hamilton does not have the best car so far.
This is not an excuse. It is just a reflection of the current reality.
It started with pre-season testing. Mercedes ended up being the team that undertook the least amount of testing.
You can easily argue that from that point, the team has been on a back peddle. They are getting better at understanding the car, but not like at the level Red Bull team is at.
This means that so far, Hamilton is not driving the best car on the grind. He has an inferior car compared to Max Verstappen.
Examples of Verstappen getting the better of Lewis Hamilton.
There are instances when Max Verstappen has been better than Hamilton.
I would like to share with you my pick of the races where Max performed better than Hamilton.
Bahrain Grand Prix 2021
It was the first race of the season, and Lewis Hamilton won. He had to hold off Max Verstappen to make this win stick.
Hamilton has started second on the grid with Max having taken pole position.
There was drama towards the end of the race when Verstappen overtook Hamilton in Lap 53. However, Max had to give back the position on FIA’s instructions because he had overtaken Lewis outside the permitted area.
This was communicated to the Red Bull pilot by radio.
Max asked the team if it would not have been better to keep the five-second penalty. He believed he could take more than five seconds from Hamilton.
However, his team boss told him not to and it was a direct order to return position.
Imola Grand Prix in 2021
Max Verstappen was the winner at Emilia Romagna circuit in Italy.
This was a chaotic race in wet-dry conditions. The race had a red flag after George Russell and Valtteri Bottas crash.
Lewis Hamilton also almost crashed out. He was lucky, but dropped to ninth position on the grid. The recovery to second place was spectacular too.
Lando Norris finished in third. Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finished the race in fourth and fifth.
French Grand Prix in 2021
For the first time in his career, Max Verstappen won the French Grand Prix in 2021 at the Le Castellet. He also picked up the fastest lap point.
While Mercedes opted for a one-stop strategy, this turned out not to be a smart move.
Red Bull opted to stop Verstappen for fresh tyres, and this proved decisive. He overtook Hamilton to win the race and extend his lead over Hamilton to 12 points at this point.
Red Bull will also be delighted with the fact that Sergio Perez pitted just once and was able to finish in third place, behind Lewis Hamilton.
In conclusion, I do not think that you can truly find out if Max Verstappen is better than Hamilton.
The data and the information available so far is not conclusive.
It would be great if you could have both Hamilton and Max in the same car. That way, you can then have a complete picture of how good each is, under similar circumstances.
It is important to note that both Hamilton and Verstappen are very good drivers. However, Lewis Hamilton remains the best driver in Formula one today.
At 23, Max Verstappen has a great future ahead of him and will become a world champion in the near future.
Who do you think will win the 2021 Driver’s Championship?